Some Things are Missing . . . (or should I say someone)

Hi, It’s me. I knew something was going on because Stephen was packing an awful lot of bags. He seemed sad, Mom was sad, even Daddy looked sad. But through the sadness there was a sense of excitement. Friday morning, Stephen gave me a very long hug and pet goodbye. He tapped his chest to Dakota which was his hint for Dakota to jump up. Dakota did and Stephen petted him for a bit. Then everyone was gone. The house grew silent once again as it always does when Mommy, Daddy and Stephen go away.

Then a few hours later, Lauren came by. She played with us and took pictures. She is Stephen’s girlfriend. I really knew things were different, because she’s usually only over when Stephen is here. But now she was taking care of us. I went upstairs to the room that Dakota and I share with Stephen. Yes, that boy odor was still there mixed in with the scent of our fur and dander, yet it wasn’t the same. The floor was clean!

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Dakota has a little crush on Stephen’s girlfriend Lauren. She is very good to us!

Last night Mommy and Daddy finally came home and I was so happy to see them, I could chew on my bone. But Stephen didn’t come back with them. The next day Mommy and Daddy left and this time Mommy only came home. What was going on?! That night Mommy left her door open when it’s usually closed. I slipped in and curled up on the floor on Daddy’s side. Stephen wasn’t in his room and Dakota and I were use to having him there. Mommy turned on the light because I accidentally hit the bed. She saw me there, but didn’t make me leave. Maybe she needed me just as much as I needed her.

A couple days later, Marisa came over to spend the night with us. I love when she comes over! She and Mommy were looking at her phone and suddenly I heard Stephen voice! “Stephen! Stephen! It’s Zoey! Where are you?!” I barked I heard him talking about his room, and his homework, and his new friends. I still didn’t understand. When was Stephen coming home?

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I had to wrap myself up in Stephen’s sleeping bag to feel closer to him.

After he hung up, I heard Mommy and Marisa talking about Stephen being at college and how happy they were that he was doing so well. That’s what he’s doing! No one told me! It’s so quiet here without Stephen. I don’t hear his music or him yelling at his video games or talking on the phone with Lauren. I miss running down the stairs to curl up on the soft rug while he watches Netflix. Dakota hasn’t jumped onto his gigantic beanbag since Stephen left.

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This is where Stephen is staying at college.

Daddy finally came home and that made all of us happy. I can’t wait until Stephen comes home. I’m going to give him my biggest smile and sit so prettily he’ll pet me all day! I bet you a big dog bone that Dakota will pee all over the floor, because he’ll be so happy. So many changes around here, but they are good ones. You really do find out how much you love someone when you don’t see them every day.